תמונות בעמוד

obtained, whether the lower classes of the community have profited by what is sometimes called a new connexion. Observe, I only speak of what concerns ourselves, i. e. of those proselyted, or brought over from the Established Church. With the state of others I do not interfere : e. g. if they are insolent to those whom God has placed in authority over themif they are impatient of control—if they are conceited and puffed up with their own attainments—if they are careless of their own families, or idle and slothful, be assured such professors have much yet to learn, to entitle them to the real character of Christians. Whether these, or any the like properties, are to be discovered among those professing to be disgusted with the regular mode of worship, and consequently judging themselves too perfect to be benefited by it, I leave to the observation of others to determine. This, however, I have discovered, that among the number of those who are ambitious to be called by a new name, and who still affect a continued regard for our most excellent Liturgy, some prove insincere as to their professions in this respect, which (among other articles that greatly contribute to lower a due attachment to the Church, and to divide her members) is manifest from their being seldom seen within her walls. Far be it from me to encourage any uncharitable temper ; but from a close attention to the consequences of particular measures, it is almost impossible to be deceived as to the principle that directs them. I am ever ready to make allowance for the errors of misguided zeal in matters of mere opinion or indifferent concern; but perseverance in any practice that must be universally condemned by every judicious member of the Established Church, argues a degree of dangerous self-will, especially after calm remonstrance against the obvious prejudice that promotes it.

It is true, that Christian charity requires us to grant, that good intention is a valuable motive in the conduct of every one; but it is equally true, that persons may mean well, and yet be under the influenee of so false a judg, ment, as not to perceive that their actions are ill calculated to promote the very end which they have at heart. Partiality, prejudice, and various infirmities to which a frail nature is subject, may lay the foundation of erroneous predilection. Now, all parties that are sincere, have an equal claim to this same apology of goodwill. I should be sorry to be thought actuated by any other principle in what I am now writing: the question is, in which cause the propriety of persevering is most commendable, and less ex, ceptionable, that of regularity or that of innovafion? which has the best pretensions to encouragement, that established by the government, upheld by Scripture, and warranted by the custom of ages, or that which our own vain fancy may pronounce the better way? Is it reasonable, that the decision and authority of the whole venerable body of the CHURCH should submit to the private opinion, or intrusive and arbi, trary reformation, of any individual, however excellent his character, or plausible his design? For instance: in most country places, where the population is not extensive, one pastor must be considered sufficient for the care of one parish ; and to introduce a variety of teachers, where the established incumbent is competent to the discharge of his office, and responsible for his jurisdiction, must surely be judged inexpedient and unjustifiable ; for, what is the obvious inference from such an encroachment by a stranger, but that the regular minister either does not understand his duty, or is negligent in the discharge of it? But supposing he should remonstrate against such a procedure, would it not be very uncharitable to attribute his conduct to self-importance, or unpastoral indifference to the advancement of the grand cause of his profession? Is there not reason to suspect, that the wish to rule a party, too frequently operates in promoting such dissension and may we not safely pronounce, that submission to the regular appointments of divine Providence in ecclesiastical concerns, would discover a becoming spirit of laudable humility? On the contrary, does it not argue extreme presumption in those who usurp an interference they cannot defend on the scriptural principles of all things being done decently and in order, to oppose or depreciate positive commissions, where they have no appointed charge, or authorized power to officiate?

Should it be offered in reply, that such persons act under the direction of those of most exemplary life, and from the purest zeal in the cause of religion; still, as we should own but one Master, who is in heaven, and have been taught to believe, that, for the good of his church on earth, he hath delegated a special power under the sanction of his Apostles' institution, to whom we should be subject, as to those placed in authority over us in these matters : so, doubtless, it behoves us to submit to the establishment of a rule, continued to us by the divine will in the realm in which we are born, and which exacts our due obedience. If it be objected, that these very rulers, whose jurisdiction we thus uphold, are no more than earthly teachers, I would observe, that they are the guardians of uniformity of worship — the representatives of the superior order of ministers, who have the warrant of Scripture for succession to their holy office, and who give positivecommission to the inferior orders of their brethren, for the regular discharge of the ministry. In this character, we are to look up to them, as representing the head of the church, which is CHRIST. The exhortation of St. James, My brethren, be not many masters, intimates the danger flowing from a variety of teachers, who, through the introduction of favourite fancies, are apt to entertain rash and unjust surmises of those whom they are bound to reverence, incurring the well-known reprehension of the great Apostle, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas. Wherefore, not to detract from the personal worth which any of these superfluous workmen may possess, I would persuade you, my brethren, to be content with saying, But WE ARE OF CHRIST, and to subinit to that temporal subordination which he did at first appoint and sanctify; for, where envy and strife is, there is confusion ; but the wisdom that is from above is pure, peaceable, without partiality and without hypocrisy; and the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Under the established constitution of the Church, and in this particular spot, I am stationed as the humble instrument in a public capacity, to the work of the ministry; and were I not to declare my opinion freely, on what so nearly concerns my office, I should esteem myself unworthy of the post in which Providence has placed me; in so doing, I have no inten

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