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death, by our union, and our reciprocal affection, we strengthen them in their infidelity by our anti-christian spirit. Can no remody be devised to correct the evil ?»:

Mr. Ingleby. “Why, Sir, I hope the evil is in some small degree corrected by the influence of our public institutions. Those who, a few years since, were envious and jealous of each other, now associate together on the most friendly terms. If the Bible Society has not terminated the contest, she has concluded a truce between us; and I flatter myself that there will be no renewal of hostilities, even though some of the more bigoted belonging to the different denominations should feel disposed to encourage them.”

Mr. Llewellin. I ofton think that the place in which the Bible Society celebrates her returning anniversaries bears the nearest resemblance to the interior of that house not made with hands of any local habitation on earth. It is the mansion into which contention and strife dare not obtrude; where the sons of God disengage themselves from their distinctive attire, and appear in their more august and sacred vestments, strengthening that union, and cherishing that affection, which are the lovely presages of a more general harmony through the whole visible church. The celebrated Dr. Mason of New York says, in the preface to a work which he has lately published, 'Within a few years there has been a manifest relaxation of sectarian rigour among the different denominations in America; so that the spirit of the Gospel, in the culture of fraternal charity, has gained a visible and growing ascendancy. This happy alteration (he adds,) may be attributed, in a great degree, to the influence of Missionary and Bible Societies. And is it not so in this kingdom? Till the Bible Society arose, and gained a settlement in our land, we had not an inch of neutral ground on which we could assemble, and unite with each other in any religious enterprize; but now we have the province of Goshen assigned us; and the air of that place is so salubrious—the light so clear and brilliant—the atmosphere so temperate and serene--and the harmony of its inhabitants so profound, that we venerate it as the mystic inclosure in which we have an emblematical representation of the celestial inheritance, in which the pirits of the just live in closest union and sweetest concord. May the catholicism of grace and truth wax stronger and stronger, till Ephraim shall not envy Jutlah, nor Judah vex Ephraim; the strife of sect being overcome and banished by the all-subduing love of God our Saviour!”

Mr. Ingleby. “I have no doubt but the spirit which goes forth, from this and other kindred institutions, has a powerful, though imperceptible influence over the public mind, and we may calculate on its more effective and more extensive operations; but if we wish to accelerate its final triumph over the numerous prejudices and antipathies which still continue to exist amongst us, we must display the catholic temper of Christianity in our private intercourse, and endeavour to cultivate the most perfect charity towards all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. And ought we not to do it? Did not our Lord, when he prayed that we might all be one, as he and his Father were one, foresee the diversities of sentiment which would arise and prevail amongst his followers ? and yet he was not deterred, by that consideration, from giving it utterance. If we cannot agree on every debateable point, yet we may live in peace; if we still choose to retain the distinctive insignia of our denomination, we need not cherish a spirit of jealousy or envy; but rather by walking in wisdom towards them who are without, and in brotherly kindness towards them who are within the pale of a public profession, convince all that the honour of the Christian character is dearer to us than the aggrandizement of a party, and that we are willing to merge all our minor differences in the expression of that love for each other which is the fulfilling of the law. could indulge a hope that every description of Christians would act upon these principles, we might then hail the dawn of a brighter day, and consider it as a nearer approach to the ultimate triumph of the church than the annals of time have yet recorded.

In the accomplishment of our Saviour's prayer we should behold a demonstration of the divinity of his mission which the most impious could not resist; we should behold in the church a peaceful haven, inviting us to retire from the tossings and perils of this unquiet océau to a sacred

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inclosure, a sequestered spot, which the storms and tempests of the world were not permitted to invade."

Mr. Roscoe. “And what is it but prejudice, arising from ignorance and misconception, which prevents this cordial union and fraternal attachment? No one, I am conscious, who understands the genius of Christianity, or who has ever felt his bosom glow with supreme

love to an unseen Redeemer, can for a single moment presume to recommend disunion amongst the members of the household of faith, though they may occupy different compartments, and commune at separate tables. It is prejudice that has kept me aloof from dissenters, and made me unwilling to associate with them, because I understood that the generality of them rejected the essential doctrines of Christianity; but now my error is corrected I can receive them as my brethren in Christ; and as I hope to meet them in heaven, and unite with them in the sublime exercises of that holy place, I shall feel a pleasure in mingling with them on earth."

Mr. Llewellin. “ And, Sir, you will permit me to say that you will find the same spirit animating the great body of pious dissenters in this kingdom, We have seceded from the church, but we do not wish to overthrow it; as we claim the right and privilege of thinking and deciding for ourselves, we do not wish to deprive you of it. We are a numerous and a united body; but we do not wish to be considered as a hostile band, watching an opportunity to rush in and divide the spoil. No; we wish to cultivate the graces of the Christian character while we contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints; and though we may have our imperfections as a body, and as individuals, yet a disposition to revile or contemn our brethren of the Establishment is not one which is very common.”

Mr. Ingleby. “I have for many years lived on terms of intimacy with many who do not belong to the church of which I am a member, and I have been sometimes censured for my conduct, but I have never repented of it. Some of the happiest moments of my life have been spent in social and spiritual intercourse with those of my Christian brethren who have differed from me on some of the subordinate points of religion. Our

conversation, when we have been together, has turned, not on those points on which we differed, but on those on which we were agreed; and I have often retired from these social interviews with my mind relieved from its cares-animated and enriched by the interchange of pious sentiment and feeling ; and if the intervening distance between me and my Father's house has not been diminished, it has been irradiated with a more brilliant lustre. I am now tottering on that narrow isthmus of time which separates the visible and invisible world, and the small portion which I can redeem from the duties of my pastoral office I spend in reviewing the past, and anticipating the future. On throwing back my recollections over the history of more than half a century, I recal to my remembrance many imperfec tions which I deplore; but my conscience does not reproach me for cherishing a fraternal regard for my Christian brethren of other communions. In looking forward 1 anticipate many sources of enjoyment; and I candidly confess that I indulge a hope of partaking of much holy pleasure in associating with Luther, and Calvin, Howe, and Leighton, Whitfield, and Wesley, Doddridge, Watts, Fuller, and other illustrious men, of the same and other denominations, who have entered into rest. I attach very little importance to the influence of my example, as I occupy too insignificant a station in the church to operate any great or extensive change in the sentiments and feelings of others; but it is a source of satisfaction to me, in prospect of going to give an account of my stewardship, that my example has neither encouraged nor sanctioned discord amongst my Christian brethren. I have lived in stormy times, but I have never increased the fury of the tempest; I have seen the spirit of party raging with desolating violence, and have known those who have borne the image of the heavenly stand in opposing columns to each other in the field of fierce and angry debate, but I have been enabled, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, to hold on my way unconnected with their unhappy hostilities; and now (rising from his seat as he spoke, his countenance at the same time glowing with all the ar. dour of impassioned feeling,) it is with

no common emotions of joy that I indulge the hope of leaving the church and the world at a period when the temple of war is closed, and our denominations are cultivating the spirit of universal peace. This is a gratification which has been denied to the great and the good of former times, and it is one which I did not anticipate a few years since. The blessing which our Lord bequeathed to the church when she was first formed, but which for many ages the spirit of evil has alienated from her, is now diffusing itself far and wide; and I trust that it will in future remain the source of her bliss, as it will prove the means of her prosperity and honour. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you : not as the world giveth, give I unto you. John xiv. 27. The spirit of party, which is not yet become quite extinct amongst us, may threaten to disturb the grow. ing harmony, and make many efforts to raise some s insuperable barrier against the union of the people of God who are now scattered abroad amongst the different lots of our common inheritance; but as the improved temper of the times coincides with the dictates of Christian affection, we may justly calculate on a more copious measure of the influences of the Spirit poured down from on high, when we shall be convinced, by a force of evidence too powerful to be withstood, that God is Love, and that we never please him more than when we embrace with open arms, without distinction of sect or party, all who bear his image."


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