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thöfe duties which are most necessary to be praca tised. And as he sees how perfectly agreeable the former are to the understanding of a reasonable creature, and how fit it is that those who are endowed with reason, and are designed for á fócial Life, should practise the latter; fo he has a settled propensity, a warm desire to propagate both the one and the other among mankind, and to improve himself, especially, in both. This his zeal arises not from any corrupt bias on his will, or any selfish purposes that are to be answered by it, but from a rational conviction that nothing is so beautiful and amiable as truth and virtue; and from a sincere desire to promote the honour of God, and the happiness of mankind. He is one, who as he knows, that though all truth is equally true; yet that it is not all of equal importance, nor every rcal duty of equal necessity; so he proportions his zeal to the nature and moment of things, being less concerned about matters of comparatively little weight, and more fo about greater. He is one who, amidst all his zeal, remembers that he is a man, subject to passions and mistakes as well as his neighbours ; and, therefore, he never grows haughty and, assuming, insolent and doinineering, but is full of love and good-will to all mankind, even to those who differ most widely from
and who, therefore, dares not under any pretence whatsoever, violate the laws of charity, nor break in upon any rights, to which all men have an equal claim.' He is one who, though he spares no pains in informing the ignorant, convincing the erroneous, reproving the bold sinner, and reforring the debauchee, yet never allows himself to censure rafhly, to slander, oppress, or injure any! man in any kind, and much less on account of ren ligion, or matters of conscience. : Finally, he is one who, though he is very earnest and diligent in this work, yet goes about it with prudence," and manages it with caution and discretion.':
Such is the character of the inan whose zeal God approves, and all wise and good men applaud.
man can scarce be supposed ever to do any mischief in the world he can/fcarce fail of being remarkably beneficial to it. » And as ugly an appearance as zeal sometimes makes, big with the mischiefs and ruin which it has too often produced—thus lovely a figure, would it inake, under these regulations. i. 47
"Sermón on ireligious Zeal. :"i
AN uncharitable man wounds the very: vitals of
that religion by which he hopes for eternal life. And whilst his fury rages against his brother for accidental differences, he shakes the very foundations of his own christianity, and endangers, or prevents his own salvation ; his boasted orthodoxy in opinion is made vain, while his practical ungodlinesses are real; and his faith appears to be little better than that of devils, when he mingles fo much of their malice with it. In vain does he glory in the brightness of his notions : in vain does he presume darkness is past and the true light now fhineth : for he that sayeth he is in the light and hateth his brother, he abideth in darkness even till now.
* Dr. Samuel Johnson, in his life of Watts, makes the following observation, which perfectly accords with the above testimony. “With his theological works, I am only enough acquainted to admire his meekness of opposition and his mildness of censure. It was not only in his book but in his mind, that orthodoxy was united with charity."
It is true, indeed, that all graces and virtues are very imperfect in this present state, and there is much of uncharitableness remaining in many a good man: but that man can never be good that has no charity. Zelotus has spent his life in declaiming againft fome little modes and gestures used in worship. by his fellow Christians, or in imposing some uninstituted ceremonies on the consciences of his brethren. He hath stirred up the magistrate to perfecute some of them to prisons, and almost to death.
He flattered his conscience with hopes that his zeal for the church should not only render him acceptable at the last day, but provide him a large reward. He lies
now languishing upon a bed of fickness on the very borders of eternity, and is terribly awakened to behold his own mistake; whilst he stands within the tribunal of Christ, and the face of the judge, his former practice appears to his conscience in its true and frightful shape; the fire that hath animated him against his brethren now flashes in his soul and discovers its infernal fource; now he dreads to be made an exainple of the same vengeance among devils, with which he hath pursued his fellow mortals; he groans out his last breath in bitter agonies, cries to the God of Love for mercy upon his departing spirit, and expires almost without hope. He is gone. But we leave his foul to the compaffion of a God who can better pardon his mighty errors, than he would forgive others in their little mistakes.
Thus dreadfully hath this vice of uncharitableness prevailed against the honour of Christianity and the peace of mankind. Thus facrilegiously hath it taken away one of the brightest marks of the best religion, and that is love. It hath defaced the beauty of our holy profession, scandalised the facred name that we bear, made a slaughter-house of the church of Christ, and deceived the souls of men to their own eternal ruin.
Just as I had finifhed this effay, Pharifaino happened to come into my study, and taking up the first leaf, read the title, and was persuaded this discourse must be written against himself. . “ No, faid I, there is not any man alive personally intended in these papers; but if you please to peruse them, and shall apply the characters to yourself, I hope you will confess Divine Providence has led you into a conviction of your false zeal.” Pharifaino fat him down immediately, and with a running eye passed through every page. And though the frequent wrinkle of his brow difcovered his inward chagrin and disgust, yet he paid me many a ceremony; and, “ Behold,” said he, “how language and fancy will dress up zeal like a monster to frighten men out of their fervor. of spirit.
“ I have heard," added he, “that you have some skill in painting ; pray draw me the figure of this uncharitableness in just and proper colours; this monster which you complain has so narrowed and disgraced, and murdered Christianity.” I will attempt it, Pharifaino, if you will furnish me with a sheet of large paper, and that of the fairest kind, to represent the Christian Church in this world. First, I will pare it round, and reduce it to a very finall compass; then with much ink will I stain the whiteness of it, and deform it with many a blot; at the next fitting I will stab it through rudely with an iron pen ; and when I put the last hand to complete the likeness-it shall be fmeared over with blood!
Orthodoxy and Charity united.