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hold! this is the work of angels, they must marthal the field of glory in the end of all things. O my God, may I, at least, be one to fill the train of this triumphant procession in that blefsed day, when thou shalt crown the zeal and patience of thy faints !
Enquiry after Hajipiness.
HUMPHREY PRIDEAUX, D. D.
DEAN OF NORWICH.-DIED 1724. THE churches of the east
, once the most flourishing, having drawn the abstrusest niceties into controversy, which were of little or no moment to that which is the chief end of our holy Chriftian religion, and divided and subdivided about them into endless schisms and contentions, did thereby destroy that peace, love, and charity from among them, which the gospel was given to promote; and, instead thereof, they continually provoked each other to that malice, rancour, and evil work, that they lost the whole substance of their religion, while they thus eagerly contended for their own imaginations concerning it; and, in a manner, drove Christianity quite out of the world, by those very controversies in which they disputed with each other about it. So that, at length, having wearied the patience and longfuffering of God, in thus turning his holy rea ligion into a firebrand of hell for contention, strife, and violence among them, which was given them out of his infinite mercy, to the quite contrary end, for the salvation of their souls, by living holily, righteously, and justly, in this present world : he raised up the Saracens to be the instruments of his wrath to punish them for it.
Life of Mahomet.
DANIEL WHITBY, D.D.
PREBENDARY OF SARUM.—DIED 1726. ou
UR blessed Lord told his disciples, that the
time would come when they that killed them, hould think they did perform the most high and acceptable act of worship to God. And though this was then actually done by the hatred which the unbelieving Jews bore against all Christians, yet it has been more fully, and tragically completed, by the decisions, decrees, and practices of the court and church of Rome. These decrees and practices of the church of Rome, are highly opposite to the true spirit of Christianity, to the laws of Christ, to the doctrine and practice of the primitive church; and, consequently, the church which makes these fanguinary decrees, and perpetrates these inhuman butcheries, must be a false church, and guilty of the blood of myriads of Christ's disciples. And if this barbarous treatment of pretended heretics be evidently repugnant to the true spirit of Christianity, and contrary to the example of our Saviour, which we are bound to imitate, if it is entirely oppofite to the principles and practices of the primitive and purest ages of the church ; this will be, I hope, sufficient to convince wise men, that the religion which commands these cruelties and inhumanities, cannot derive itself from him who is the God of love, and patience, and mercy, and pity, to the fons of men.
All the church of Rome can plead to justify her practice in burning, massacreing, and extirpating of heretics and fchifmatics, might, with much greater advantage, have been urged against the Samaritans. Doth not fhe practise her feverities out of zeal for truth, and for the honour of God and Christ, and of the true religion, in reclaiming heretics and schismatics, and to prevent or terrify others from adhering to or being deluded by them? But how contrary is this to our Saviour's conduct, who, when the disciples upon all these accounts, had much greater cause to call for fire from heaven on these Samaritans, did yet rebukė them, and would not suffer it to be done, not even to one small village? How then will he condemn the actual execution of such severities to many thousand innocent Chriftians, after his folemn declarations, that all such cruel proceedings are directly contrary to the de.
sign of his most blessed coming upon earth, and to the spirit of his Gospel ?
For the true reasons of Christ's rebuking his disciples for their desiring leave to act thus se. verely with these schismatical and heretical Samaritans, were, first; because this spirit of severity, wherever found, is entirely opposite to the calm temper of Christianity. This appears by our Saviour's reply to his disciples--ye know not what Spirit ye are of ; that is, you do not consider under what kind of dispensation ye are placed by
The temper, disposition, and affection, which I come to teach men, and would fix within them, is not a furious, persecuting, and destructive spirit, but such as is mild, gentle, and tender of the lives and interests of men, even of our greatest enemies. Under the Old Testament, if a prophet was rejected and scoffed at, he had power to punish it severely. But they, who reject and crucify Christ, are prayed for by him, and are, by his command, to be preached to, and, if possible, to be brought to repentance; and all Christians are to conform themselves to this example towards the contemners of their persons, or rejecters of their doctrines ; not according to the legal, but the evangelical difpenfation---the meekness and gentleness of Christ. The gospel dispensation requires universal love, meekness, peace, and good-will to all men, even to enemies ; and no difference of religion, no pre
tence of zeal for God, can justify this fierce, cruel, and inhuman zeal. Another reason of our Saviour's, against those wicked doctrines and practices, is, that he came not into the world to destroy men's temporal lives, but to save them. He came to discountenance all rage, violence, and cruelty in men, one towards another ; to restrain and subdue that furious unpeaceable spirit which fo disquiets the world, and occasions fo many mischiefs and disorders in it; that the lamb and wolf may lie down together, without hunting or destroying one another; and engaging all men to lay afide all bitterness and wrath, anger and clamour, malice, and evil speaking. He came to introduce that excellent religion, which consults not only the eternal salvation of men's fouls, but also their temporal peace and security; their comfort and happiness in this world, condemning all bitter zeal as earthly, sensual, and devilisi. Not dispatching them out of the way, but with long suffering, expecting if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledgment of the truth ; which teacheth us to bear with the weak in faith, and be long suffering to all men, and to restore them in the spirit of meekness.
Sermon on Perfecution.