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their unity in communion. Now the former of these is not to be hoped for without a miracle. What then remains, but that the other way muft be taken, and Chriftians must be taught to fet a higher value upon those high points of faith and obedience, wherein they agree, than upon thofe of less moment, wherein they differ; and understand, that agreement in thofe ought to be more effectual to join them in one communion, than their 'difference in other things of lefs moment to divide them.
Let all men believe the Scriptures, and them only, and endeavour to believe them in the true fenfe, and require no more of others, and they fhall find this not only a better, but the only means to restore unity. And, if no more than this were required of any man to make him capable of church communion, then all men, fo qualified, though they were different in opinion, yet, notwithstanding any fuch difference, muft be, of neceffity, one in
The prefumptuous impofing of the fenfes of men upon the general words of God, and laying them upon men's confciences together; this vain conceit, that we can speak of the things of God better than in the words of God; this deifying our own interpretations, and enforcing them upon others; this refraining of the word of God from that latitude and generality, and the understandings of men from that liberty wherein Chrift and his
apoftles left them, is, and hath been, the only fountain of all the fchifms of the church, and that which makes them immortal. Take away thefe walls of separation, and all will quickly be one. Require of Chriftians only to believe in Chrift, and to call no man mafter but him only; let those leave claiming infallibility that have no title. to it; and let them, that in their words difclaim it,. (as. Proteftants do) difclaim it likewife in their actions. In a word, restore Chriftians to their just and full liberty of captivating their underftanding to Scripture only; and then, as rivers when they have a free paffage run all to the ocean, so it may well be hoped, by God's bleffing, that univerfal liberty, thus moderated, may quickly reduce Chriftendom to TRUTH and UNITY.
Life, and the Religion of Proteftants.
JOSEPH HALL, D. D.
SUCCESSIVELY BISHOP OF EXETER
AND OF NOR
Bishop Hall is univerfally allowed to have been a man of great wit and learning, and of as great meekness and piety. His Treatife on Moderation, whence the above
parchment, and, in the midst of it, wrote this one word, Measure, and fent it, fealed up, to the King. The King, opening the fheet, and finding no other infcription, thought himfelf mocked by his Philofopher, and, calling for him, expoftulated the matter. But when it was fhewed him, that all virtues, and all religious worthy actions, were regulated by this one word; and that, without this, virtue itself turned vicious, he refted well fatisfied. And fo he well might, for it was a word well worthy of one of the seven sages of Greece, from whom indeed it was borrowed, and put into a new coat. For while he said, of old, for his motto, nothing too much, he meant no other but to comprehend both extremes under the mention of one; neither, in his fenfe, is it any paradox to fay, that too little is too much; for, as too much bounty is prodigality, fo too much fparing is niggardlinefs; fo as, in every defect, there is an excess, and both are a tranfgreffion of measure. Neither could aught be spoken of more ufe or excellency; for what goodnefs can there be in the world, without MODERATION, whether in the use of God's creatures, or in our own difpofition and carriage? There is, therefore, nothing in the world more wholefome, or more
extract is taken, is exceedingly fcarce. Indeed I have never met with more than one copy, which I found in the library of my worthy and much-esteemed friend, the Rev. Hugh Worthington.
neceffary, for us to learn, than this gracious leffon of Moderation; without which, in very truth, a man is fo far from being a Chriftian, that he is not himself. This is the center wherein all, both divine and moral philofophy, meet; the rule of life; the governefs of manners; the filken ftring that runs through the pearl chain of all virtues; the very ecliptic, line under which reafon and religion move, without any deviation; and therefore moft worthy our best thoughts-of our most careful obfervance. For, furely, if the want of moderation, in practice, do moft diftract every man in his own particular, the want of moderation, in judgment, diftracts the whole world from itfelf; whence it is that we find fo miferable divifions all the earth over, but especially fo woe-. ful fchifms and breaches in the Chriftian world; wherein we fee one nation thus divided from another, and each one nation no lefs divided from itself. For it cannot be, fince every man hath a mind of his own, not lefs different from others than his face, that all fhould jump in the fame opinion; neither can it ftand with that natural felf-love, wherewith every one is poffeffed, eafily to forfake the child of his own brain, and to prefer another man's conceit to his own. Hereupon, therefore, it comes to pafs, that while each man is engaged to that opinion, which either his own election, or his education, hath given him, new quarrels arife, and controverfies are infinitely
multiplied, to the great prejudice of God's truth, and to the lamentable violation of the common peace. Would to God we could as well redrefs as bewail this mifery, wherewith Christendom is univerfally infected!
When we hear and fee fearful thundering, and lightning, and tempeft, we are commonly wont to fay, that ill fpirits are abroad; nor doubt I but that many times (as well as in Job's cafe) God permits them to raife thefe dreadful blufterings in the air; right fo, when we fee these flashes, and hear thefe hideous noifes of contention, in God's church, we have reafon to think that there is an hand of Satan in their raifing and continuance. For, as for God, we know his courses are otherwise. When it pleafed him to make his prefence known to Elijah; firft there paffed a great and strong wind, which rent the mountains, and brake the rocks in pieces, but the Lord was not in the wind. After that wind came an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. But after the fire came a ftill fmall voice, and therein was the Almighty pleafed to exprefs himself. He that is the Sion of the tribe of Judah delights in the ftile of the Lamb of God, and is fo termed by John the Baptift, his forerunner, in the days of his flesh, and by John the Evangelift, his apoftle, in the ftate of his glory. Neither was the Holy Spirit