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part, and prophesy in part; and that the best of us are subject to prejudices, which, through various causes, are almost unconquerable. Religion is, however, but one thing; and if you are so happy as really to know and feel what it is, you will have the testimony of all good men, of every age, kindred, nation, and tongue, to join you in your humble and cheerful profession of it.
As we ought all to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, so we are obliged, by the fimplicity and sameness of that divine spirit and temper which hath been infused into our hearts, moft fincerely and affectionately to love one another. If the laws of humanity constrain us to express a tender regard towards mankind in
general, purely upon this principle, that they partake of the same nature with ourselves; the argument must receive additional strength when it comes clothed with all the native dignity and generosity which religion gives it--at the same time presenting to our view the good man, who is. born from above, as the object of this our efteem and affection. Can' we believe him to be the offspring of God—the brother of Jesus, and a partaker of the same nature with ourselves, and not embrace hiin with the utmost cordiality in the arms of Christian charity ? God forbid that we should be insensible to such divine impressions ! Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God: and every one that loveth is born of God, and know
eth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love. May this temper live and increase in each of our hearts, so proving us to be the disciples of Jesus ; till at length it shall arrive at its utmost perfection in the realms of light and glory above!
Discourses on Personal Religion.
ANDREW KIPPIS, D. D. F. R. S. and S. A.
RELIGIOUS differences are a mighty cause
of the disputes and aversions that have taken place in the earth. In consequence of religious differences, mankind have been ready to view one another in a light peculiarly odious, and to cheriíh the most unfriendly, and even the most malignant sentiments. The quarrels that have arisen from this origin have been always too generally prevalent ; and it is, alas ! to be feared, that they will continue to prevail for ages yet to come. The effects of a temper of this kind must be extremely bad, if we consider the matter in a moral and religious light. What can be more contrary to the genius ; what more contrary to the precepts of the gospel, than strife, anger, and hatred ? Does not the Christian revelation perpetually urge upon us the lovelies, the gentlest graces and virtues ? What was the character, and what the deportment of our blessed Saviour? Was not
his character, altogether, composed of benevolence, humanity, mildness, and courtesy? Was not his deportment perfectly peaceable, kind, and tender? Did he ever engage in angry debates and quarrels with his neighbours ? Did he ever disturb the repose of those around him, by a contentious and turbulent behaviour? Did he ever give way to the feelings of resentment and malice? On the contrary, was it not his intention to render us truly the Sons of peace; to make us at peace with God, at peace with ourselves, and at peace with each other? For this purpose he endured the labours and sufferings of this mortal life; and for this purpose he died upon the cross. He hath set before us the strongest motives, and laid us under the highest obligations, to cultivate the utmost friendship, agreement, and harmony of our fellow-creatures. If, therefore, we are possessed of a different disposition; if our hearts are full of wrath and strife, and rancour; if we fall out by the way, and turn the earth, as far as in us lies, into a dreary and uncomfortable scene, what will be the consequence? Why, as by such a temper and conduct we at directly reverse to the genius and delign of our hviy religion, the consequence must be to the latl degree fatal. If we have not the spirit of Christ, we can be none of his. We muit, in fuch a cafe, have our portion with those who were contentious, who did not obey the truth, and were the lares of their corrupt and turbulent paflions.
And now, if my
voice could be heard, I would ardently and affectionately call upon the bigots and persecutors of the globe, no longer to violate the rights of conscience, but to grant to every man the privilege of wor/hipping his God and Father, in the manner that is agreeable to the dictates of his own mind. Be persuaded, since ye are disciples of the same master, to live in love, even as Christ also loved you ; and do not permit any differences in religious sentiments to interrupt the harmonious agreement with which it behoves you to march on in the road that leads to the mansions of glory. In short, let each of us in our several stations and connections, be studious to cultivate the sentiments of universal meekness, good-will, and benevolence; and let us constantly attend to the mighty arguments and motives to this purpose, which are set before us in the gospel. If thus we be careful not to fall out by the way, we shall enjcy the truest satisfaction which the present life can afford, and shall be preparing for the realms of complete concord and blessedness.
BENJAMIN GROSVENOR, D. D. * BIGOTS there may be, and have been of all
persuasions ; but an implacable, irreconcileable, cruel Christian, is of the fame figure of speech as a godly adulterer, a religious drunkard, or a devout murderer. A religion that inspires cruelty and revenge ; that is so far from forgiving injuries, that it inultiplies them upon such as desire to injure nobody ; that can allow its votaries to contrive, as near as possible, the misery of poor people in this world, or their damnation in the next; as they do, undeniably, who first tempt a poor creature to shipwreck his conscience, and strain upon him for not doing it ; first tempt a man to be a hypocrite, and next punish bim for not being so: I say a religion of this complexion needs no stronger confutation, nor can be better proved to be none of his, than to be compared with the temper and spirit, with
* In 1749, Dr. Grosvenor retired from all public ser. vices, and died 1758, in the 83d year of his age.' He pub. Jished many single fermons, the most diftinguishing of which was one on the Temper of Jesus, which was reprinted at Cambridge in 1785—it was a transcript of his own heart and life-An Esay on Health, and an excellent treatise, entitled The Mourner, both of which have passed through several editions, and will continue to be memorials of his genius, learning, and spirit. Of the latter, the following passage in his diary, is an amiable specimen: “ 1 thank God !" says he, “ for that temper of mind and ges nius, which has made it natural for me to have an averfion to bigotry. This has improved constantly with my knowledge. And the enlarging my mind towards those who differed from me, has kept pace with my illumination and ina tellectual improvements. Agree to differ is a good motto. The reason and loveliness of fuch a friendly difpofition would recommend it; and I am persuaded people would almost take it of themselves, if it were not for the several arts used to prevent it."