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make proselytes- they will bury or secularize the talents of the most useful men, keeping them toiling for years where they can scarcely preserve the germ of existence, while those upon whom they have lavished all their time, would find room and welcome, and equal edification, in numerous other churches.

This is the way those resources which have been consecrated to the Saviour, and which might fill the world with light and gladness, are sacrilegiously squandered. Tell them of the unnumbered crowds whom they are bound to bless, and who must perish if neglected, and they will turn a deaf ear; or if they listen to your appeals, they have little to give and none to send. Their money, their men, are all taxed in carrying on this endless intestine strife.

And when is this contest ever to end ? Some must first yield; who will they be? As long as the present spirit prevails it is evident there can be no suspension of hostilities, no withdrawing from the field. And if this fruitless struggle be kept up between the acknowledged friends of "the Prince of peace,” how is the contest with the powers of darkness ever to be successfully maintained ? I know that each party confidently expects the victory ; but as this is common to all, it proves nothing to any. Nay, I go farther. I believe that neither

of these belligerent powers is to be much honoured in the conversion of the world. Certainly they must change their present grounds and lose the very spirit which I fear produces more than half their animation, before they can be persuaded to turn their arms from their brethren, and employ them against their common enemy.

The world is not to be converted by carnal weapons ; nor to such a distorted self-consuming Christianity. Even should that narrow-minded and intolerant part of the church of which I am speaking diffuse their present principles and feelings among all the nations of the earth, the world would need a second conversion before the millennial glory could be introduced. For one, I do not regret the impossibility of their moulding the unchristianized portion of mankind into their own image. The gossamer theories about which many of them contend, are too attenuated to be woven into the coarse web of heathen languages. It is as much as can be done to make some of the tribes of men acquainted with the rudiments of Christianity. Even the grosser forms of church-government, as they exist in Christian lands, cannot at first be introduced under all circumstances among the heathen. The missionary is at times obliged to be the sum of all church-officers and church judicatories, and to model his materials, not according to prescribed rules, but to existing exigencies. I confidently expect that the world will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of God," before one-half of mankind is qualified to comprehend, and the other disposed to value all those shibboleths which now divide and alienate the members of the redeemed family.

CHAPTER XV.

THE LIBERAL-MINDED CHRISTIAN.

THE next speaker was a Christian, who was known to rise superior to all the littleness of party spirit. He always acted on the sublime principles of Christian benevolence ; never stopping to inquire whether his own sect, or any other, was to reap the honours of his exertions.

I am not surprised, said he, at the strong feelings which have just been expressed. I have often thought that if any thing is calculated to offend and afflict those who have just emerged from heathenism, it is this strife among "the followers of the Lamb."

To contend earnestly for the essential truths of Christianity, and to guard the church against the introduction of fatal errors, is an unquestionable duty. The evils of a sectarian spirit do not lie here. They result from a want of discrimination between the fundamental and the unimportant in religion. And this is the infirmity of some of our best men.

Their dread of heresy inclines them to magnify trifles, and insist upon non-essentials, while the peace of the church, and to a great extent, the triumphs of the gospel, are incon

siderately sacrificed. Still, since there is disunion among Christians, what can be done to counteract its evil tendency? By what means can we improve the condition of the divided church, and render more salutary its influence upon a lost world?

There is a respectable and an increasing num. ber belonging to every religious body, who have no sympathy whatever with their brethren in these household contentions. They may prefer their own church, but they are willing to accord to others the same soundness of judgement, the same liberty of choice, and the same sincerity of principle, which they claim for themselves.

Let such then, in all their conduct, strike a broad line of distinction between the essential doctrines of the cross, and the unimportant tenets of religion.

Let them cherish respect and love for their Christian brethren of every name.

Let them uniformly show that they would rather assist those who differ from them, in promoting Christi. anity, than those who belong to their own sect, in their mere party encroachments. This has been the practice, of some of the best men in different churches ; -why should not all adopt it as an invariable rule of action? It is the only course which involves no compromise of principle,

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