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right. But fhould they be mistaken, yet I am fure our uncharitablenefs is not the way to convince them of their error, but quite the reverse. If, then, we are what we esteem ourselves to be, the ftrong in faith, let us remember, that, though charity be their duty, as well as ours, yet it is to fuch as we are that St. Paul exhorts to bear the infirmities of the weak, and to receive one another, as Chrift alfo hath received us, to the glory of God.
Hitherto we have defended our church by arguments; let us now, by our charity, fettle and eftablish it. This will recommend both ourfelves and our religion, to the good esteem of all men, and may be a happy prefage, that the bleffed time spoken of in the facred prophecy is now ready to be revealed; when the church of Chrift, being purged from those corruptions that have so long defaced its beauty, shall again appear in its primitive purity. When all heresy and schism, being every where abolished, and the mystery of iniquity laid fully open, and the man of fin deftroyed, true religion and fincere piety fhall again reign throughout the world. O bleffed ftate of the church militant here on earth! The glorious antepast of that peace and piety which God has prepared for his church triumphant in heaven! Who would not wish to fee those days, when a general reformation, a true zeal, and a perfect charity, fhall univerfally prevail, and that we may be all
united in the fame faith and worship, the fame communion and fellowship, one with another? When all pride and prejudice, all interefts and defigns, being fubmitted to the honour of God, and the discharge of our duty, the holy Scriptures thall again triumph over the traditions of men; and religion no longer take its denomination from little fects and factions, but we fhall be content with the fame common primitive names of Chriftians and brethren, and live together as becomes our character, in brotherly love and Christian charity with one another. And who can tell but
fuch a change as this is nigh at hand; and which may be foon accomplished, would we all but seriously labour to perfect the great work which the providence of God has fo gloriously begun, and establish that unity among us, which may afterwards diffuse itself into diftant parts of the Christian world. And, though we may not be fo happy as to fee any fuch bleffed effect on our endeavours, yet this we are fure of, that we shall not lose our reward in heaven; when to have contributed, though in the leaft degree, to the healing thofe divifions we fo unhappily labour under, will be esteemed a greater honour than to have filenced all the cavils of our enemies, and be rewarded with bleffings more than all the ftars in the firmament for number.
Exhortation to Mutual Charity.
DANIEL WATERLAND, D. D.
AS to religious differences, they are generally
the fierceft, and last the longest, and are of fatal confequence to peace and happinefs; therefore certainly ought, as much as in us lies, to be prevented or compofed by us. What concerns us, as private men, is so to defend our religion, and to maintain the true faith and worship, by difcourfe or writing, as not to lose our charity. Religion is a cause that deferves our zeal; and if many will be offended with us for telling them the truth, and not complying with fuch errors as would lead both to their and our deftruction, the fault is their own; we fhould ftill, as much as lieth in us, live peaceably with them. Not by betraying the cause of Christ; not by ceafing to contend earnestly for the faith which was once delivered to the faints; not by pleading for amendments and alterations in the purest and best constituted church of any in the world; but by condefcending to hearken to, and answer, any modest fcruples, by meeknefs and gentleness, by patience and forbearance, not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrawife, bleffing. This is, as much as in us lies, as private perfons, towards living peaceably with them that diffent from
Some thing more lies in them who have no
unlawful terms of communion impofed; and, therefore, might and fhould give up their prejudices, and submit to lawful authority, and wholefome order, for the church's peace. However, confidering the prevailing bias which education, cuftom, and prejudice, lay upon weak minds, efpecially when they have neither leifure, nor capacity, to know better; and confidering that mild and gentle ufage may poffibly win fome over, whom reviling and rudenefs would but harden and render worse, it is certainly a Christian duty not to upbraid and provoke them; not to be bitter against them, but rather to wait with patience till God may open their eyes, or turn their hearts; to whofe mercy we should therefore leave them, and, in the mean while, take care of our own fouls.
But another fort of differences, near as fatal as the former, and in fome refpects more fo, are thofe among ourselves, of the fame church and intereft, our PARTY differences. How have these fowered men's tempers, inflamed their paffions, and almoft eaten out the heart of Christian charity! I have not time, nor words, to lament the vifible decay of religion and piety, owing to thofe heats and animofities fo rife amongst us: the whole nation feels it, and every good man We fhall not, I am
mourns in fecret for it.
afraid, find that thefe eager contests are founded either in a true love of our own country in par
ticular, or for mankind in general; or that our zeal arifes from a real concern for truth, for juftice, or for charity. While we are engaging, with fuch warmth and eagernefs, about the affairs of this life, it might abate our fervor to confider how little time we have to fojourn here, and how great a work we have upon our hands; and of what moment it is to go cool and quiet hencé, if ever we hope to find a place within the calm and peaceful manfions of the bleffed.
Sermon on Peace.
JEREMIAH SEED, A. M.
'UNDAMENTALS, abstractedly from perfons, as relating to the scheme of Christianity, may be fixed by a certain and determined ftandard, and they are plainly thofe that are so intimately interwoven with Christianity, that it and they must ftand or fall together. But fundamentals, in a relative view, as refpecting the falvation of particular perfons, cannot be precifely defined and adjusted by any fixed and unchanging measure. They muft vary according to the variety of men's apprehenfions, circumstances, and opportunities. And it is impoffible to fettle thofe points, the belief of which shall be neceffary to falvation, absolutely and univerfally, to all men, without any diftinction, in all cafes, under such an endless disparity