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injures those who are the objects of it, as well as bears an unfavourable aspect on the interests of christianity more at large. Such are the effects of the wisdom of this world, when it is put in the place of fincerity, and a regard to the plain truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Professing the purity of the christian faith, let us be careful, my brethren, to adorn it by a blameless and exemplary life. More especially let us beware that we do not wear the form of godliness, when our hearts are destitute of the power of it; and that we indulge no secret hope, that by any peculiar strictness and austerity of life, by frequent or long prayers, or by attending on much preaching, and using other means of religion, we shall atone for a neglect of the weightier matters of the law, righteousness, mercy, and truth. Let the integrity of our hearts appear in the chearfulness of our counte
and let us shew that we love God whom we have not seen, by loving our brethren whom we da see, and by being always ready to do them every kind office in our power.
Tojudge of our love to God, or of our love to Christ, directly, by what we feel when we think of them, especially when we are excluded from the world, as is the custom with many, is to expose ourselves to the groffest and most dangerous delufions. We find in the scriptures a much plainer, and safer method of judging in both these cases.
This, says the apostle John, is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. If ye love me, says our Lord, keep my commandments. re are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you ; and this is my commandment, that ye love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one for another,
Remember that true christian charity is humble, modest, and diffident; and that he is pronounced to be happy, who feareth always, so as to be circumspect in thought, word, and deed; and that, for this purpose, we are to put on the whole armour of God, that we may withstand the temptations of the world.
Rather than indulge a pharisaical pride, in recounting your experiences, boasting how vile you have once been, or thought yourselves to be, in order to make others believe how holy and fanctified
you are now, content yourselves with the language and practice of the humble publican, who, speaking to God and his own heart only, cried, God be merciful to me a finner.
Rejoice in all the real good you see done by others, whatever may be their ill-will, or oppofition to you ; and be especially upon your guard, left your juft averfion to what is corrupt in the principles or practices of others lead you to dislike what is good in them. Let not the pharifaical rigour of some throw you into the opposite extreme of levity; and let not their laying an undue stress
upon praying, preaching, and other means of relia gion, make you neglect them, as we are too apt to do with respect to any thing that has been much abused.
Having enough to do with our own hearts, let us be particularly upon our guard against that fpirit of cenforiousness, which many professing christians indulge with too little restraint. Let us remember that the true christian beareth all things, and hopeth all things, and let us never forget the awful warning of our Lord, Judge not that ye be not judged: for with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged ; and with what measure ye mete, it hall be measured to you again.
Be not moved, my brethren, by the rash censures and reproaches of others. Persecution, of some kind, is what all who live godlily in Christ Jesus must expect to suffer in this world.
To their wrath, anger, clamour, evil-Speaking, and malice, answer with the wisdom that is from above; which is pure, peaceable, gentle, and easy to be inttreated; full of mercy, and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrify.' Let us even rejoice that we are counted worthy to suffer mame, and infult, for the fake of Christ, though our sufferings come not from the professed enemies of Christ, but from falfe brethren; and let us not be concerned at being counted deceivers, if we be conscious to ourselves that we truly love the gospel, and that we labour to promote and adorn it,
You will be called arminians and socinians by your adversarics, or something else that shall express more of their hatred and dislike. But let not this offend you. If there be any proper meaning in those epithets, it can only be that you hold certain opinions which they deem to be false, but which you cherish as the only genuine doctrines of the gospel. If nothing more is meant by those terms, besides mere reproach and abuse, think yourselves happy, as being reproached for. t'e name of Christ. 1 Peter iv. 14.
With many the appellation of Lutheran or Calvinist is reproachful, and with many also that of Christian is much more so. Belides, both Armiņius and Socinus were men who loved the gospel, and who suffered more for their adherence to it, than most others of the reformers, especially Socinus.
If we be christians indeed, we shall consider ourselves as not of this world, but as citizens of heaven. The friendship of this world, therefore, together with popularity, and success in it, ought not to be considered as any object for us. If we abide in Chrift, and walk even as he also walked, not being canformed to this world, but being transformed by the renewing of our minds, we are heirs of a far nobler inheritance, an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us ; and when Christ, who is our life, and for whom we suffer reproach, fall appear, we also fall appear with bim in glory.
I shall conclude this address with a word of advice and exhortation to all unitarians, whether they be members of the established church, or of any society of dissenters in this country.
Of fuch great importance is the doctrine of the divine unity, that nothing will more fully justify a feparation from any christian church that does not openly profess it, and much more from those that avow the contrary doctrine, directing prayers, and paying supreme worship, to any other than the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It was for the preservation of this great and fundamental doctrine, that Abraham, and his family by Isaac and Jacob, were separated from the rest of the world, and made a distinct people, as it were, to be the depositaries of the true religion, which consists principally in the sole worship of the one true and living God, the maker and preserver of all things. The same important doctrine was uniformly taught by Christ and the apostles ; though christians in after-times, like the Israelites after the time of Joshua, relapsed into that idolatry which has generally prevailed to this day.
If it was a sufficient justification of the first reformers, that they considered the church from which they separated as worshiping faints and angels ; will it not justify your separation from their partial reformations, that you consider them as praying to and worshiping one whom you con