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far as they will, for we are free of all. And when he appeared at the diet of Spiers before the emperor, in a particular conference he had before the Archbishop of Triers, and the Elector of Brandenburgh, when there seemed no poflibility of agreeing him with his opposers, they asking him what remedy seemed to him molt fit ? he answered, the counsel that Gamaliel proposed to the Jews, that if this design was of God it would stand; if not, it would vanish, which he said ought to content the pope. For this counsel fuppofeth, that those that are tolerated may be wrong; and yet how foon did the same Luther, ere he was well secure himself, press the Elector of Saxony to banish poor Coroloftadius, because he could not, in all things, submit to his judgment ? And certainly it is not without ground reported, that it smote Luther to the heart (so that he needed to be comforted) when he was informed that Coroloftadius, in his letter to his congregation, styled himself a man banished for conscience, by the procurement of MARTIN LUTHER !”

This account of the conduct of our great Reformer should be impressed upon the minds of Protestants, and inight prove an incentive to that consistency of character which, were it uniformly cultivated, would constitute the glory of the reformed churches. By abandoning this spirit of intolerance, both in principle and in practice, we shall prove ourselves the followers of Jesus


Christ, the imitators of the apostles, and thus haften the coming of the Meffiah's kingdom !

Fourthly and lastly-By not judging even of ourselves, concerning the religion of Christ, that just convi&tion of mind is excluded, which enfures firmness of belief and steadiness of practice.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is accompanied with a train of evidences fuited to its nature, and sufficiently ample to command the affent of

every reafonable being. The contemplation of its prophecies, its miracles, its internal character, and its first propagation amongst Jews and Gentiles, has a necessary tendency to produce conviction. Truth and duty being intimately connected, we have reason to conclude, that a settled belief will, under the blessing of God, generate an uniform practice. One man believes in the existence of a Supreme Being, because his parents and instructors have assured him there is a Deity. Another man believes there is a God, because he has confidered and investigated the works of creation. Which of these men is the most likely to love and fear him?, The question requires not an answer. Apply this reasoning to the other great articles of natural and revealed religion, and the same conclufion may be drawn with equal justice. He who takes up his belief upon proper grounds, is the more certain of living beneath its influence, and dying by its support. The belief of the gospel rests on the most rational conviction. You can

not complain of a want of evidence, though you may want that patience and docility which are requisite to consider this evidence in its due extent. The citadel of the Christian faith is found. ed upon a rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it *.

* One of the most popular of the prefent deistical wri. ters, having misrepresented and ridiculed the several books of scripture, exultingly compares himself, towards the close of his performance, to a woociman, who passing through á a forest with an axe on his shoulder, had levelled the trees with the ground. Such is the wit with which he embellishes, and such the modesty with which he announces his own archievements. Infatuated man! neither the Tharpness of thine'axe, nor the strength of thy blow, could possibly avail. In thy rage for destruction, thou hadît forgotten that thine aim was directed against the tree of life, which is of God's own right nand planting, and whose fruit is for the healing of the nations !

Naturalists have observed, that such is the goodness of Providence, that wherever any species of poison grows, .there also will an antidote be found to counteract its fatal tendency. The Age of Reason has received many excellent answers, both from Churchmen and Diffenters. None of them, however, possesses greater merit, or deserves a more general perusal, than The Apology for the Bible, by the present Bishop of Landaff. Youth who are the most likely to be led away by the sop!iistry of Deifni, frould have this pro. duction

put into their hands. In this judicious performnance, they will find the knowledge of the divine ihe ability of the scholar, and the serious, candid spirit of the Christian, happily and feasonably united. As an antidote to modern infidelity in general, the reader is referred to the present Bithop of London's Charge to the Clergy, for *1794.-Paley's Evidences of Chriftianity, (of which a good abridgment has been published) and Dr. Priestley's Obfervations on the Increase of Infidelity.

Let us then be studious of exercising the right of private judgment in the investigation of the scriptures ; for in them (said our Saviour) ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which teslify of me. With the free and impartial search of the scriptures, the interests of religion are essentially connected. “ The faith and practice of Christians," says an ingenious writer *, “ have. been often perverted, and their consciences have been subjected to the traditions and commandments of men. They who were misled, fell into this corruption and slavery, by neglecting to search the feriptures. They were delivered out of it by that pure and complete information, which is to be derived from the word of God. It was after the church of Rome had taken away the key of knowledge, and forbidden the people the use of this book, that she was able to impose the full weight of that grievous yoke under which the Christian world long groaned. And it was when our forefathers presumed to open this book, that they began to make themselves free. From hence they derived irresistible weapons. By the light of scripture, they exposed to scorn the fabulous legends, the absurdities, the idolatry, and t'e uncharitable spirit of those who had kept them in bondage. The various forms of error, with all the sanction which they derived from authority, custom, and superstition, were unable to stand before the truth. And the search of the scriptures hath established that rational system of faith, that spiritual worship, those rights of private judgment and mutual toleration, and those pure conceptions of Christian duty which are the glory of the reformed churches. If ever a night of superstition shall again overspread the Christian world, it will arise from that negleit of the scriptures which grows with the impiety of modern times; for the ignorant are always an easy prey to imposture, while every well-instructed Christain raiseth in his place a mound against the return of spiritual tyranny."

* Principal Hill of St. Andrews.

If then the scripture be the only rule of faith and practice—if our reason should be exercised in the fear of God, to recognize its evide.ices and ascertain its import—if this invaluable privilege be common to the professors of Christianity ; why, on account of difference of opinion, should they indulge themselves in mutual recrimination -afcend the tribunal of the Almighty, and hurl at each other the thunder-bolts of divine vengeance? Cease, O Chriftian, from such unchriftian practices ! These are the deeds which have given infidels their triumphs-lacerated the feelings of pious men, and caused the system of Christianity to bleed at every pore! Thou who renouncest infallibility, renounce also the imposition of thy creed upon the consciences of thy

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