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hold! this is the work of angels, they muft marfhal the field of glory in the end of all things. O my God, may I, at leaft, be one to fill the train of this triumphant proceffion in that bleffed day, when thou fhalt crown the zeal and patience of thy faints!

Enquiry after Happiness.




HE churches of the eaft, once the moft flourishing, having drawn the abstrusest niceties into controverfy, which were of little or no moment to that which is the chief end of our holy Chriftian religion, and divided and fubdivided about them into endlefs fchifms 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 loft the whole fubftance of their religion, while they thus eagerly contended for their own imaginations concerning it; and, in a manner, drove Chriflianity quite out of the world, by thofe very controverfies in which they difputed with each other about it. So that, at length, having wearied the patience and longfuffering of God, in thus turning his holy re

ligion into a firebrand of hell for contention, ftrife, and violence among them, which was given them out of his infinite mercy, to the quite contrary end, for the falvation of their fouls, by living holily, righteously, and justly, in this prefent world he raifed up the Saracens to be the instruments of his wrath to punish them for it.

Life of Mahomet.



UR bleffed Lord told his difciples, 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 decifions, decrees, and practices of the court and church of Rome. Thefe decrees and practices of the church of Rome, are highly oppofite to the true spirit of Christianity, to the laws of Chrift, to the doctrine and practice of the primitive church; and, confequently, the church which makes these fanguinary decrees, and perpetrates these inhuman butcheries, must be a falfe church, and guilty of the blood of myriads of Chrift's disciples. And if this barbarous

treatment of pretended heretics be evidently repugnant to the true fpirit 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 pureft ages of the church; this will be, I hope, fufficient to convince wife 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, maffacreing, and extirpating of heretics and fchifmatics, might, with much greater advantage, have been urged against the Samaritans. Doth not fhe practife her feverities out of zeal for truth, and for the honour of God and Chrift, and of the true religion, in reclaiming heretics and fchifmatics, 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 difciples upon all these accounts, had much greater caufe to call for fire from heaven on these Samaritans, did yet rebuke them, and would not fuffer it to be done, not even to one fmall village? How then will he condemn the actual execution of such severities to many thousand innocent Chriftians, after his folemn declarations, that all fuch cruel proceedings are directly contrary to the de

fign of his most bleffed coming upon earth, and to the fpirit of his Gospel?

For the true reafons of Chrift's rebuking his difciples for their defiring leave to act thus feverely with thefe fchifmatical 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 confider under what kind of difpenfation ye are placed by me. The temper, difpofition, and affection, which I come to teach men, and would fix within them, is not a furious, perfecuting, and deftructive fpirit, but fuch as is mild, gentle, and tender of the lives and interefts of men, even of our greatest enemies. Under the Old Teftament, if a prophet was rejected and scoffed at, he had power to punish it feverely. But they, who reject and crucify Christ, are prayed for by him, and are, by his command, to be preached to, and, if poffible, to be brought to repentance; and all Chriftians are to conform themfelves to this example towards the contemners of their perfons, or rejecters of their doctrines; not according to the legal, but the evangelical difpenfation-the meeknefs and gentleness of Chrift. The gospel difpenfation requires univerfal love, meeknefs, peace, and good-will to all men, even to Our enemies; and no difference of religion, no pre

tence of zeal for God, can justify this fierce, cruel, and inhuman zeal. Another reafon of our Saviour's, against thofe wicked doctrines and practices, is, that he came not into the world to destroy men's temporal lives, but to fave them. He came to discountenance all rage, violence, and cruelty in men, one towards another; to reftrain and fubdue that furious unpeaceable fpirit which fo difquiets the world, and occafions 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 falvation of men's fouls, but also their temporal peace and security; their comfort and happiness in this world, condemning all bitter zeal as earthly, fenfual, and devilish. 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 fuffering to all men, and to restore them in the fpirit of meekness.

Sermon on Perfecution.

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