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things were not quite desperate, he continued labouring to do good, and to heal the breaches that were made, with a constant mind. Difficulties did not daunt him, nor vexatious scenes of wrathful contention and disputation make him impatient. The obfervation of Solomon was admirably exemplified in him: A wise man is strong, and a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

He constantly laboured against any breach, either of ministerial or christian communion, on account of the present controversies. With this view, when jealousy and discord were grown to a very great height, and a rupture was threatned, he wrote a paper intitled ; seafonable advice to the contending parties in the north, which was published with a preface, by the reverend Messieurs Weld, Boyse, and Chappin, of Dublin. The intention it pursues from beginning to end, is to prove, that there ought to be no breach of communion amongst the protestant difsenters in the north, on account of the late different sentiments and practices relating to subscription to the Westminster confession. This paper was anonymous ; for Mr. Abernethy


imagined it might be more useful that it was not known to come from him, who was not looked upon by all, as very zeam, lous, and the principal advocate for liberty. The paper was sometime after anfwered by the reverend Mr. Masterton. His answer was pretty large. Mr. Abernet hy replied in a book, to which he prefixed his name, acknowledging himself the author of the seasonable advice. To this reply there was a postscript by the above-named ministers of Dublin, answering what related to them. I shall say nothing concerning these performances, the world must judge: With this the controversy between Mr. Abernethy and Mr. Masterton ended ; but the state of things grew worse and worse people in many places were separating from the Non-subscribing ministers, and soine of these ministers were very much reproached, as utterly unfound in their religious principles, of which Mr. Abernethy bore a large share; but nothing could put him so out of humour, as to divert him from studying by all means to prevent a seandalous breach of communion.

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SOME of his reflections upon that melancholy state of affairs, and his own particular concernment in it, are as follow: “ O! my soul wait on the Lord, and be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine * heart. It pleafes God to exercise me with

a variety of trials; but, tboI am troubled « almost on every side, I am not distressed, * I am perplexed, but not in despair. When « I reflect on the times which are past, *s the troubles and temptations which have < environed me, together with the divine c vouchfafements in that state, I am com« forted; for in faithfulness God has af1:46 flicted me, and has never forsaken me. « I have been made to rejoice in tribula*5. tions, for they have work'd some in“ crease of patience, experience and hope ; *s therefore let me account it all joy, when * 1 fall into divers temptations : And what “ have I now to be sollicitous about ? For, <s after all, that which produces inquietude * and carelesness of mind, attended with ic confusion and pain, is an excessive re

gard to some present interest; for de“ bates in my mind merely about duty, if nothing else be mixed with them, are

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6s calm

« calm and dispassionate ; it is still something “ selfish which produces perturbation. I “ find myself, in my present circumstances,

too deeply concerned for my reputation, " which many are inclined fiercely to run

upon, because another reputation, to which they are attached, seems to be affronted by the resistance now made. This is a

worldly interest, which I am called to resign “ and commit to God without anxiety; all " that I am to study, is, that I may be

approved of God, leaving to his kind and “ faithful providence all that concerns me; “. These things I must seek after ; firft, " that the free exercise and composure of my mind

may be preserved; for when " either anger or fear, worldly sorrow or “ carnal affection prevail, this is destroyed, " and even my sincerity hurt. 2dly, That " the more I am tempted, the greater ad

vantages I may obtain, I mean especially, an increase of patience, and all the other

peaceable fruits of righteousness. 3dly, “ That my services to the church, and

the precious interests of religion, may si abound more and more. My ministry " is the main business of my life; and therefore, to be more diligent, faith


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ful and succesful in it, is the point I ought to aim at, as a proper improvement of all



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AGAIN, an important subject of

my “ serious consideration, is, the discord a

mong ministers, and people of our de“ nomination, which, if not timely reme


difmal efects. The peace of the church is to be desired by all, “ who love our Lord Jesus Christ, and by “ all lawful means to be pursued; but a

departure from the gospel foạndations of

peace, can never be justified. To make " profeffions against the light of my own “ conscience, seems to me a moft heinous

impiety; in the mean time, there is not

any thing I am more in danger of, than o the secret influence of corrupt motives,

especially an undue love of reputation, * fear of reproach, and the disesteem of

men, who, I am se nsible, act (from

an intemperate and ill informed zeal “ for what they think truth : This puts on the , disguise of prudent caution

care to preserve my usefulness " in the ministry ; but let me always " remember, that my usefulness, and the


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